To be honest I was sceptical about the anniversary idea, was ‘not dying’ a sufficient excuse for a party? Isn’t celebrating an anniversary tantamount to become smug and self-satisfied? Fortunately the counter arguments started to mount up: people like parties, we like parties and parties are a good excuse to see people again. The tipping point was reached when it was agreed we would make new show for the party. Who can ever resist making a new show? Continue reading “Stan’s Cafe is dead, long live Stan’s Cafe” »
Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category
This evening I gave a talk at one of Birmingham Conservatoire‘s Composer Seminars. It seems the concrete eating monsters who consumed the Central Library were finally sated by Adrian Bolt Hall and have retreated to digest. The Conservatoire remains and the talk took place in ‘the old canteen’ overlooking a large flood lit hole in the ground into a portion of which the world’s largest corkscrew appeared to be drilling a hole. Continue reading “Speaking and Listening” »
It was exciting to learn that Debbie Kermode has been appointed as mac birmingham’s new Artistic Director / CEO taking over from Dorothy Wilson. Continue reading “New Leaders” »
Shakespeare’s 400 years gone (23 April), the Queen is 90 years alive (21 April), Roisin is 1 year with us (20 April) and Nina West…
Looking to promote Made Up The REP asked if this was our first all female cast, the reply was simple – “no but it is our first in 20 years”. That show was Ocean of Storms and Ocean of Storms as Nina West reminded me recently, was the first Stan show for which she created the music, so Happy Anniversary to her. Continue reading “Happy Anniversary” »
Man down! Check you’re not going to slip on pools of vomit or urine. Approach, slap and shout. No response. Call for help “get an ambulance”. Ear to mouth and nose, look at hand on sternum, ten secs max, no breath. Hand on head and chin, hyper extend neck open mouth, look all around inside, all clear. Where the ribs meet, three fingers up, heal of hand, fingers interlocked, thirty compressions, two each second, one third body depth down, down, go! If you break their ribs so what, they’re about to die. Keep the hyper extension, squeeze nostrils closed, seal your mouth over theirs and blow deep and hard one second, once more, then back for another thirty compressions and on and on. If they vomit turn their head to the side, scoop it out. “Your job is to keep them alive for nine minutes”.
Attending a show @ A E Harris? Don’t worry you’re in safe hands, we’ve had the training. Enjoy your evening.
I live in fear of Tim Harford. He hosts the Radio 4 and BBC World Service program More Or Less. The premise of this brilliant programme is that they interrogate statistics that have entered the public realm but sound a bit dubious. Classically it is politicians who are subject to fact checking but the programme’s range is broad, it’s up-beat and playful; Tim Harford is fantastic but he terrifies me. Continue reading “How To Do It” »
A changing of the arts guard has been sneaking up on us in the West Midlands.
Tim Hodgson must have been Performing Arts Producer at mac birmingham for over a year now. There he replaced Louisa Davies who moved to become Events Manager at the RSC. Paul Burns has moved on from International Dance Festival Birmingham. Fiona Allan is the new boss at the Hippodrome having moved from The Curve in Leicester. Stephen and Jackie Newbould are leaving Birmingham Contemporary Music Group soon. Aaron Wright has just been announced as Artistic Director of Fierce replacing Harun Morrison and Laura MacDermott.
Each producer / programmer brings their own personal interests and preferences to a new post, which impact on who they commission and who they book. Each shuffling of personnel appears to close down opportunities for some and open avenues for others. There are fresh starts and new visions wherever we turn. These are exciting times.
The final exchange on what I suspect is an incomplete list is that Matt Burman has left Warwick Arts Centre (to head up the Yorkshire festival) and is replaced by Julia Carruthers. Matt had a great interest and experience of Contemporary Theatre, which suited Stan’s Cafe very well. Julia seems to have had more of a focus on Contemporary Dance, so we may have to introduce ourselves to her. I’m hoping that this introduction goes well, not least because she was tour managing the Michael Clark Company when they were collaborating with The Fall and she must must have some hair raising stories to tell of those days.
Today with the excellent Kate Green I was working with some young people in Birmingham planning a walking adventure in the City Centre on Tuesday. All was going well and as planned we moved on to the Risk Assessment section in which we ask the students to think through what the risks of the trip may be, if these are acceptable and how we mitigate against them. The first risk they thought of was ‘being blown up’. It may have been that they were playing a deadpan game of winding us up. I hope they were. If they were they were playing it very straight and consistent. We played along, to an extent; after all it is a risk.
Continue reading “What are the Odds?” »
On Saturday at 06:30 I experienced Something Good outside Birmingham Cathedral; dawn happened. As Dan Jones’ composition for the cathedral choir swirled around the churchyard, the streetlights clicked off in small clusters and a felt the lightness that came from realising that when I had arrived it had been the night and now, possibly fifteen minutes later, it had become the day. Although I have more than a passing acquaintance with dawn I cannot recall the last time I experienced like this. Usually I am in my own world noting the presence of dawn with more or less pleasure, on Saturday I experienced being in time and it was a joyous feeling. Continue reading “Being In Time” »
It was a wonder that I was able even to see Chas Ambler. He was a mature student, in the third year studying theatre at Lancaster University when I had just arrived, a naïf first year student. Rumour had it that Chas drove round the town in a decommissioned London Taxi, that he had worked with counter cultural pranksters The Natural Theatre Company and that he smoked marijuana. We existed in different dimensions. Continue reading “Chas Ambler” »